DEEP PURPLE Bassist: 'I Love Being In A Band'

December 7, 2007 recently conducted an interview with DEEP PURPLE bassist Roger Glover. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow: There's a rather complicated family tree as one tries to follow DEEP PURPLE over the years. How do you think that's affected the music? There's a core to your catalog that you're probably going to play no matter who's in the band but looking at the current lineup, what's distinctive about this bunch of guys?

Glover: "We get along pretty good, and have really since [guitarist] Steve [Morse] joined the band, which is now 14-15 years ago. It's been a relatively happy band. Not to say we don't have our differences or fights. You take any five people and put them together and you'll have some fights, but it's not a fight that destroys the band. It's a fight for something you believe in. You gotta fight for your corner, you know? But it has been a fairly contented lineup, in that respect. Contentment can sometimes breed lackadaisical attitudes but it hasn't. There's a real hunger in the band that comes from the fact that when Ritchie [Blackmore] left we were determined to carry on. And that determination is very strong. I suppose that's because of the unhappy Blackmore years of the late '80s/early '90s. There was a will to not give him some kind of moral victory and have the band fold when he left. We all felt very strongly about that. Joe Satriani [who filled in when Blackmore abruptly left in November 1993, staying on through summer of the following year] led the charge, as it were, and gave us hope that there was life after Ritchie. And, of course, Steve Morse was that person.

"Years ago I was talking to someone really famous about — and I don't want to name drop so I won't tell you who — the idea of being in a band where everyone is equal and speak their mind and come up with ideas without fear of being made fun of or just plain rejected. I always thought I'd have to leave DEEP PURPLE to find that because I desperately wanted that. I love being in a band. There's nothing like it. I don't like being a solo person. Just being in a team is really very satisfying. When Steve joined it actually sort of happened physically. We were standing around in a circle, all of us throwing in ideas, and we'd decided to share the writing no matter who came up with what — which is something we hadn't done since the early '70s. We were all looking around at each other and it was pure joy. That's why 'Purpendicular' [1996] is such a favourite album of mine, not necessarily the music but the time." Do you ever have a strong urge to just retire "Smoke On The Water"?

Glover: "It's a magical thing, really. The band started as a musical band. The whole point was music made by really good musicians. When I joined the band I was the least worthy bass player they could have found because the standard of musicianship between Ritchie and Jon Lord and Ian Paice was stunning. I'd never heard anything like it. I came from the old school where you pick up a guitar, learn a couple chords and eventually make your way. These were musicians in the real sense of the word, and the band has always been about that — music. Real musicians tend to play like jazz players not cabaret players. So, every night, with Jon and Ritchie in particular, it would always be different. I'd come from more of a pop background and I thought they were playing it wrong every night. But, of course, I realized they were extemporizing and having a bit of fun. A lot of the skeletal structure of the songs remains the same so people can recognize what it is. In fact, that's what keeps it alive. I find different bass parts in 'Smoke' and 'Highway Star' and 'Lazy'. There's something going on, I try something I've never tried before."

Read the entire interview at

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